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forewarned. The woman who is charming in honest in life. In order to have high and noble all sorts of weather, whose lovely colors are not things, we must demand and expect them. Who washed out by a rain storm, is the one who can listen to the gods are heard by the gods. Don't best protect and care for herself in the most you see, Jim ? " womanly way. The woman who is easily fooled “Yes, and more; I see how much you have is as much to be pitied as an old woman without changed in regard to your opinion of women. education. It is not necessary, in order to ren- Do you remember our talk on a November night der a girl self-poised, clear-headed, and clear- seven and ten years ago ?” eyed, that her mind be made to bristle with sus- “Great men change their minds, fools never," picions like the quills on the back of a porcupine. quoted Dick, with ironical pompousness; then To see and know life exactly as it is, to dignify relapsing into a quiet mood, he added after a human nature as it ought to be, to value truth, pause : “Yes, I have changed; but I was brought and hate falsehood, to know the true from the up and educated with boys, and my ideas of girls false, and to prefer the real, with all its scars, to and women were all distorted; as you know, I illusion, with all its outside fairness, is the educa- had no sisters, and my mother died when I was tion we want for Ricarda; and that all boys, and very young. I was not exactly taught, as was girls too, should have. And in this lies my one the young man reared by his father in a hermitgreat reason for preferring a school in which age, that all women were devils, but I absorbed both sexes are taught, regardless of sex. It is the idea that they were weak and silly things, not simply, as some affirm, that the boys are made capricious and extravagant, and eternally getting gentler and the girls stronger—which is not to men into trouble. Since then I have learned to be despised—but that each sees life in a truer know some grand women ; they have all been light. Shut men off in a province by themselves, women of mature years, however-fifty at least; and women ditto, and their minds breed fancies but such gracious, strongly tender, capacious full of dark wrinkles, or call forth pictures too hearted, and cultivated souls, as exacted from fine for realization. They imbibe false ideas of me my profoundest admiration and reverence. each other, and in this mutual misconception is Some of these have been wives and mothers, and cradled half the misery of society. But wher- some not. I think earnest and fitting work, of ever Ricarda is educated, I shall not fear this for whatever kind, nobly done, will develop a woman her; she will probably judge men by us, in a right royally, whether in or out of the matrimonial general way. While from us and with us, she kingdom. As for Ricarda, I think she, any day, has learned that men love, hate, are good and is as good as the manliest boy ever born. Inbad, feel, desire, appreciate, etc., quite like her- deed, I don't think I'd exchange her for two self; that men and women differ no more really boys.” The father smiled gladly, being evidently than do women and women. I've no sort of of the same opinion. But girls as a rule give patience with the doctrine that teaches young fathers more happiness than boys, which may in men that girls are so different,' and vice versa. some measure explain why girls usually get more If men used a tithe of the logic with which they of their father's kisses than they do of his dolclaim to be specifically endowed, they would lars. clearly see that, as we all have men for our The ultimate decision of where Ricarda should fathers, and women for our mothers, the differ- be sent to college was finally left with that maiden ence between the sexes can not be so much herself, and she chose Vassar. radical as artificial ; and an artificial difference, “I shall escape one thing there, I suppose,” in the crucible of life, vanishes into thin air. she archly observed, in slight extenuation of her The same sort of nonsense is that which pro- decision; “escape Uncle Dick's bugbear of fallnounces women better than men, or handsomer ing in love, unless it be with a woman. But I than men.
It is all bosh, for it isn't true. It is remember that a famous French woman said a pernicious, villainous doctrine too, for a woman that the one thing that consoled her for having reared in such belief never demands men to be been born a woman was, that she wouldn't be of as high stamp as one who has been educated expected to marry one. So it may be, at the end otherwise. If you remonstrate with her concern- of four years, that I shall despise my own sex as ing the laxity of her male friends, she says with bitterly as did Arthur Schopenhauer. Mais, nous a significant shrug of her shoulders, 'Oh, you verrons. I shall be twenty years old then, papa know we don't expect the same moral purity in -a grande jeune dame-have my first silken men that one does in women.' If I were a frock, and be an acknowledged young lady. And woman, whatever my private convictions might what then, Uncle Dick-what then? To be a be, I would never give a man occasion for think- young lady is to be what? to do what?” ing that I ever suspected him of being other Dick sat some time in silence. The question than pure and honest in heart, and pure and evidently puzzled him. James looked on amused
and interested, but in no wise prone to help him long time,” drily remarked James.
" She seems out of the difficulty.
to have a weakness that way.” “That is the question of the day, Ricarda,” Yes, the weakness of education. 'Tis not he finally replied. “ No man can answer it. to be wondered at, since she has been taught to That is what you go to college for—to find regard it her destiny ever since—ages before out."
Ruth went on the sly to doze at the heels of "And what do you say, papa ?” and the Boaz." young girl approached her father, and stood in a James broke out into shocked laughter. caressing way by his side. He drew his arm "O Dick! you have no more sentiment in about her, pressing her to his heart, and, with a you than what lodges in a stove-pipe. You voice in which all his father's fondness was would even transform that beautiful story of melted, replied:
Ruth_" "To love her father, my child—to be his “Beautiful ? Ridiculous story! If Naomi help, consolation, joy.” Ricarda's eyes filled had not been as daft as Ruth herself, she would with tears, and for answer she took his face be- have boxed that young widow's ears soundly for tween her hands, and showered upon it a child's such outlandish behavior. I'm not an admirer rapturous kisses,
of women of that sort, making all due allowance During this scene Dick had moved away to in the case of Ruth for the courtship and marthe window, and, though touched by the ex- riage customs then in vogue. I admire a woman pressed need of the one for love, and the ready like Amalie Snowberg. She's been a beauty and response of the other to grant it in overflowing a belle these many years; one of the most accommeasure, he stuffed his hands in his pockets as if plished women in America; turning heads wherthat action in some way bolstered up his feel- ever she goes; men falling on their knees to her, ings.
offering the sublime gifts of their hands, and “Just like a man—just like a woman," he vowing the usual vows—those iron-clad, unmuttered to himself. “'Tis the old story. It breakable vows. But she smiles and says, has been so from the beginning. Moses said the ‘Thanks, I have no need,' and goes on her triLord created the woman for the man, to be his umphant way, like a goddess walking on clouds, help-mate, and so it has been translated ad homi- self-poised, self-reliant, sublime. I hope Ricarnem ever since. He is ever to be for himself, da will be like that. I always feel like offering and she is for ever to be for him. He has never to the clinging, viny, love-hungering, husbandfor a generation ceased to demand this of her, hunting sort of women a bottle of smelling-salts, and she has never ceased to give herself to him. with the injunction, ‘Take a sniff of that, maThat she should think of other ambitions than dame. I think 'twill help you.'" to be his love, his help, his consolation, his joy, James's laughter broke out afresh, and conis to him anarchy and revolution. It is to have tinued until Dick too caught the infection, and ‘rights.
' Alas! for the selfishness of man, that, both men laughed heartily together. after centuries of self-sacrifice and devotion of "O Dick ! you've one lesson yet to learn. woman to him, he should not, will not, be gen- Like deatherous to her, sharing with her to the uttermost the largess of all the accumulated blessings of
o'twill teach you the ages,” and he tapered off his wrath with a
More than this melancholy world doth knowsonorous tattoo on the window-pane.
Things deeper than all lore'_" “What are you saying, Dick?" asked James, “What's that, Jim ? ” who often used that form of expression to get at “ Love." his friend's thoughts.
Dick groaned. “Not saying anything. I was thinking what
IV. queer creatures we are—we men.” But it was not until several weeks later-after Ricarda had Six months after Ricarda's departure, Richbeen duly and carefully installed in her college- ard Lane unexpectedly made arrangements to go home—that Dick explained to his friend wherein abroad. The bank with which from the first he he thought“ men queer,” and which embodied had been connected decided to establish branch his musings already recorded. “Just so soon as interests both in London and Paris, and Lane a woman shows herself to be charming, beauti- was urged and prevailed upon to go to take ful, intelligent, and capable,” he concluded, “en- charge of the foreign affairs. He paid a flying dowed with the very qualities with which to hon- visit to Poughkeepsie, to say “ good-by" to Rior her sex and bless the world, there is always a carda, and a thousand other characteristic things; man in ambush to appropriate her to himself.” then returned to embrace James, and be off to
“She's been accepting the appropriation sea, making nearly as great a change in their two
lives as had been made years before, when James her body such liberty and grace of motion. Full had married, and left Dick inconsolable.
of life, gayety, and originality, strong, beautiful, The loneliness of the father naturally drew and enthusiastic, she was a favorite with her felhim into closer sympathy and union with his lows, and regarded by her instructors as a “very daughter, and had a similar effect in return upon promising girl.” Only during the last few weeks Ricarda. The words he had uttered from his of her senior year did she lay aside her schoolheart-love, help, consolation, joy-never slipped girl garb, and in silken frock, with her full, curlfrom her memory.
ing, sun-tinted hair loosely coiffed on the top of “ If I can only be that to him,” she said to her head, blossom into the grande dame, her herself a thousand times, "nothing else could be charms enhanced by the mysterious and bewitchso sweet. I want nothing better, because, could ing paraphernalia of young womanhood. Even there be anything better?”
her father, under whose frequent gaze she had Dick wrote her regularly, and his letters were unfolded into perfect bloom, was dazed by the full of descriptions of what he saw, and bristling transformation costume and coiffure had wrought. with his pungent opinions and comments there. She seemed a head taller, a decade more digniupon. If he heard Mrs. Fawcett or Lydia Becker fied; the fire in her large black eyes glowed with make a speech, spent an evening with the Roset- softer and steadier splendor; the outline of her tis, saw Jean Ingelow, had a Sunday evening atface began to suggest the exquisite oval that culGeorge Eliot's, breakfasted with William Alling- ture and thought give in exchange for the roundham, or exchanged an opinion with Miss Helen ness of immaturity; while on lip and brow, in Taylor, the affair was duly reported to Ricarda, step and smile were betrayed the free gladness, and pictured in a way to heighten her enthusi- the fine, proud sensibility that is the birthright of asm for the aristocracy of brains and her admira- every well-born and well-bred woman. Although tion for women individuals.
her voice had deepened and softened in tone, it She not infrequently had her seasons of “cas- still rang with its old-time silveriness, and was tle building,” of making a name and a place for edged at times with a shade of what Dick had herself in the world—of devoting herself to as- called the “ essence of bewitchment.” James tronomy, like Maria Mitchell, or to chemistry, like well remembered a similar quality in her mother's her father—to be his help in that, his successor, voice, a sort of musical gurgle, such as one often like a son, in case of his death. What could be hears in birds, but rarely in the voices of great more fitting? Women possessed marked and human singers, and which falls on the heart more specific qualifications for scientific pursuits, her than on the ear, and is to it what a brief scent of professor in astronomy said. Then the old re- violets is to the sense of smell, or a sip of Charfrain would ring in her ears—“ Love, help, con- treuse to the taste-an indescribable agreeablesolation, joy." Could she as a lover and patron ness too delicate for large draughts of its enjoyof science be all that to her father in the fullestment, but delicious enough to keep the senses sense? To answer those needs of a man's heart ajar for another taste. He wondered what Dick should a woman be his comrade, his coworker; would think of their “ little girl”—he who had threading the streets with him, facing the storms, not once seen her in all this time? heart and brain being absorbed by the wildly- And Ricarda wondered, too, fearing that she fascinating revelations, discoveries, and achieve- would come so far short of his ideal—with which ments in the workshop? Or must she needs be he had taken all pains to make her familiar—as the deity at his fireside, the goddess of domes- to think her “flat, stale, and unprofitable.” But ticity, the sunshine of home into which he comes Dick had written that he was at last coming from his toil to bathe himself, to find rest, caress, home for a three months' vacation, and hoped to delight—to find in the gentle clasp of her hand, arrive in time to see her made a “ Laureate of the loyal kiss of her lips, the charm of her pres- Arts,” or whatever the Vassaric honor might be ence, what neither science nor success can yield, in degree of title. and which has its source in but one fount the "I shall make you a profound obeisance," he wide world over—the loving heart of a woman? wrote, “and present you with a bouquet as large
Ricarda could not answer the question to her as a Japanese parapluie, and make an overwhelmsatisfaction, and wisely concluded to let time and ing display of all the British hauteur and French circumstances shape her duty. Meantime she politesse that I have imbibed in these three and studied, as she rode on horseback, plied the oar, a half years." or roamed the fields for botanical treasures, with “And I,” laughingly commented Ricarda to a zest and freshness that never flagged. She her father—"and I will move like a goddess with wore throughout her school-life the short prin- her feet on clouds and her head among the stars. cess-shaped frocks that became her so well, were I will only deign to look at him out of the ex50 light to wear, so easily adjusted, and gave to treme outside corners of my eyes, as did Eugé
nie on her courtiers in her palmy days, and give Thenceforward conversation progressed raphim but the tips of my fingers, like the regulation idly, at times disjointedly and by leaps, as news, society nip of icebergs. I think that will freeze gossip, questions, and answers crowded upon him to a befitting awe of me. At all events, each other, everything seeming inspired with an papa, I don't believe he will wind my curls around eager haste to fill up the
of separahis wrists, and seize me by my arm with, 'Come, tion had made. Before they separated for the Ricarda,' as he did four years ago-do you? night it was decided that they should go, as soon Ah, but those were happy days, and for us three as possible, to the country, where James had alto be together again will be too good to be true! ready engaged a cottage for their occupancy. I hope there will be no sense of strangeness, so “And what do you think of Ricarda ? ” the that we have to lose one moment in getting ac- father asked, as the two lingered after that young quainted over."
lady's withdrawal. “You find her considerably But when Richard Lane finally arrived the changed, I suppose.” gay commencement season at Vassar was over, “I can tell you better hereafter, Jim,” anits brilliant crowd dispersed, and Ricarda and her swered Lane after a pause. “She surprised me, father again at home in the same house that had and I haven't got over it enough yet to tell sheltered them from Ricarda's babyhood. With what I do think. She asked me herself if I what lightness of heart and limb Dick leaped thought she had changed, but I made her no from the ship as she touched pier late in that reply. I think, so far as my thoughts have taken July afternoon, sped toward the familiar street, shape, that she is what Victor Hugo would call and rang the bell, only the eager-returned after a a masterpiece of grace." long absence from love, companionship, and home Upon reaching his room—the old familiar one know.
-Lane turned off the gas, and sat a long time Ricarda was alone when Mr. Richard Lane's by the open window thinking, and trying to think card was brought to her (her father had not yet —to analyze his feelings and put them into shape. returned home for the day, and neither was ex- Although he had expected to find Ricarda a wopecting Dick's ship until the following morning); man upon his return, yet the only real picture he and in her surprise and delight she forgot all had of her in his mind was as she appeared about her stately reception programme, flew down when he had last seen her. But this new vision stairs and into the drawing-room, as though she that greeted him—this superb young creature had both the feet of a goddess and the wings of robed in white, nearly as tall as himself, blonde, a seraph, and, before catching a glimpse of him, dark-eyed, with face, form, and hands a symcried, “ Uncle Dick!" and with extended arms phony of beauty, harmony, and elegance, and in hurried to give him greeting.
her presence an indefinable something so fresh, “Oh, you haven't grown a half day older !” so sweet, so clear and true, as if she had been she exclaimed, looking in his face with true Ri- the first woman ever created—all this filled his cardian directness, after they had exchanged a heart with bewilderment, with ineffable content, frank and affectionate salutation. “No, not a and indescribable awe. He felt in a way as a minute older! I'm so glad you are not changed, mortal might feel who had prayed and labored a as I was dreading to be obliged to get acquainted lifetime for the realization of his highest ideal, over. Of course you are improved; everybody and upon beholding it, real and tangible at last, is who goes abroad," she continued with a mis- feels his ecstasy pierced by a sense of remorse at chievous air. “You have won the elegance and having dared to desire so celestial an image, distinction of travel. You have ‘resided' in Paris Ricarda was to Lane his ideal of what a perfect and London. You are un homme du monde- woman might be-should Heaven be gracious comme il faut! How does my Vassar French enough to grant one to earth—but she was far sound in your Parisian ears ? And I, Uncle too fine and rare a creature for the realization of Dick, tell me quick-have I changed?” and, as- his theories of what a woman should do. What suming an air of grave dignity, she retreated a few had seemed to him a probability in Ricarda at steps and made him a courtesy that would have sixteen seemed an utter impossibility in this Ribeen an honor even to Fanny Kemble herself. carda at twenty. Nature, with her silent, busy
Lane moved away, and, resting his arm upon processes, while answering his prayers, had also the mantel shelf, stood so long regarding her in defeated his purposes. This girl was as brave, silence that she blushed and felt a grateful sense free, happy, and innocent, as sparkling, confiding, of relief as she heard the click of her father's and loving now as then; but with all that she was latch key in the street door, and Dick's immo- now a great deal more. And it was this somebility broken by her father's entrance, and the thing more, this unlooked-for, unexpected, supheartily expressed pleasure of the reunion of the plementary radiance of finish, that blotted out two men.
Dick's hope of a shining “ professional career"
as utterly as death could have done. He found conversation with them I feel as if they were himself at the end of his leadership; and, with a spiritually handling me in gloves, as if afraid to sense of having in some way been baffled and be themselves right out for fear of horrifying me. outwitted, to his honor and glory, he went to bed or incurring my displeasure. Then, too, he is and to sleep.
really the most elegant man we know, papa; What seemed to James and Lane, and per- none of our friends have so courteous an adhaps to most persons who saw her, a notable dress. Indeed, he makes me feel as if I were a womanly beauty in Ricarda, lay not so much in princess, and he were a gallant knight.” its perfectness as in its uniqueness. Her beauty Dick was always a brave and gallant felwas full of surprises, because she herself was so low,” replied her father. “I think he has taken full of nature. Young American women, tall, on some additional ease and polish since going fair, graceful in form, beautiful-haired, and lus- abroad, and most women are very susceptible to trous-eyed-one meets with such every day in a fine manners.” fashionable avenue. But what especially distin- “Certainly; and men, too, are they not, paguished Ricarda was the difference between an pa? Burke says truly that manners are of more artificial and cultivated elegance and the elegance importance than law. It is only when they form of nature. There was a comprehensiveness, an a superficial covering to hypocrites that they beelasticity of beauty in her that adapted itself to come intolerable. Hugo very fittingly calls such everything within her and without her. As Na- persons ‘gilded people.'” ture, under favorable circumstances, helped by sun and shade and shower, and unhampered by
V. untoward conditions, dowers every creation of SOME days following the installation of the her hand with a peculiar beauty and grace, so three friends in their country cottage, where they all the elements in this young girl's womanhood, lived more out than in-door, Ricarda, who had physical, mental, and spiritual, had bloomed into been wanting to discuss her future to be and to full symmetry. By simply being natural, she do with her father and Dick, had the way for so produced an effect like perfect art, as at the doing paved by the latter in an account he had highest point of human achievement nature and been giving them, during their out-door breakart meet. This result was in large measure un- fasting, of the work being done among the workquestionably due to the fashion, or unfashion, of ing classes by the Baroness Burdett-Coutts. her early training, which had been Dick's theory She is not, personally, a very attractive woto “turn all her faces to the sun.” Her growth man, I believe," observed James. had in no way been cramped or distorted; it had "On the contrary, quite fine-looking now," only been guided. Her life had not been ruled replied Lane. “I have been told that she was by maxims, labeled as “propriety” or “impro- ugly in her youth, but she seems to have been priety,” but led to express itself according to a growing in grace ever since.” sense of right and beauty. It had been set to “That comes from having a career — from the music of bird, brook, and forest, instead of having good work to do,” exclaimed Ricarda. to that of Italian masters. To do an awkward or “I believe mental activity is as essential to the unkind thing would have seemed as impossible highest type of physical beauty as are pure wato and discordant with her being as thorns in ter and fresh air. Indeed, I have a theory that, the petal of a rose, or the odor of a sunflower in if the activity be of the right sort, it can develop a carnation. That, in the transition of her col- beauty out of ugliness ; for which I could cite lege life, culture had acted as a handmaid to na- more illustrations than that of the financial queen ture, rather than as a successor, was owing more of the world. What would be the result, think perhaps to good fortune than to definite good you, if I were to be papa's professional partner, causes.
and become a Great Chemist-spelled with capiThe return of Richard Lane and renewed as- tal letters—or a successor of Faraday ?” sociation with him was to Ricarda a fact of as “I think,” laughed her father, “the result much interest as the change in herself and its might be the transformation of a woman into a effect upon him was to Dick.
magnetic needle." “How delightful it is to have Uncle Dick at Or a pillar of salt," added Dick. home again,” she said to her father, on the day " But, seriously,” interposed Ricarda, "grant succeeding his arrival. “He is like a breath of me an honest opinion. I well remember a talk strong, fresh air from the sea, in this sultry we had before I went to college, when Uncle weather. I believe, next to you, papa, I like Dick told me I would there learn what, as a him best of anybody; he is so direct, clear- young lady, it was to be and to do, and papa said headed, and strong in his feelings and convic- it was to love her father, to be his help, consolations. So many men are shilly-shally, and in tion, joy. Since then I have discussed a hundred